There is no more fitting band than The Acoustiholics, Edmonton’s poster boys of Celtic and East Coast pub songs, to hoist a mug at Alexander Keith’s Lobster Fest.
The much-in-demand Acoustiholics’ laidback groove has reverberated across the area for 22 years. The lively threesome has performed at the Crown & Tower’s lobster fest celebrating Alexander Keith’s birthday for the last three years. Keith was a Canadian politician, whose long-lasting brewing legacy outlasted his political achievements.
“We always look forward to playing this event. It’s fun for everyone,” says frontman Fintan Murphy. Rounding out the trio is Vince Anderson (12-string guitar, harmonica and accordion) and Rik Dmytryshyn (vocals, guitar, mandolin).
Personal, funny and addicting, the merry threesome has a knack for wrapping the audience in the palm of their hands with gentle harmony vocals. And although they’ve never recorded a CD, the local grapevine is their major marketing tool testifying to more than 20 gigs annually.
Much of their mellow appeal lies in a 400-song repertoire that covers Celtic, roots, folk rock, blues and country.
But instead of preparing a traditional set list, the three-man band passes out request sheets and fans call out their favourite songs. Basically, the audience is invited to choose the repertoire.
“They tell us from the form or yell out from their chairs – sometimes over and over,” laughs Murphy.
While it’s hard to get away from ever-popular tunes such as Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl, The Acoustiholics plan to stick to the Maritime ditties such as The Night That Paddy Murphy Died and Stan Rogers’ Barrett’s Privateers.
For good measure, they’ll toss in some of the lesser-played tunes such as Great Big Sea’s Heave Away, Roger Fogarty’s Love Song, Ron Hines’ Sonny’s Dream and the traditional Rocky Road to Dublin.
“This is an event that’s about eating lots of lobster, drinking a pint of East Coast beer, dancing a jig, talking to people and maybe meeting someone new.”
The lobster dinner Oct. 6 is served from 5 to 9 p.m. The Acoustiholics perform at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35. Reservations required. Call 780-459-3393.